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Participant Analysis of Charity Walk

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Published: Tue, 21 Nov 2017

Service Learning Project:

2014 Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s Experience

  • Carrie Hatcher

 

I decided to work with the Alzheimer’s Association for my service learning project because it is an organization that has made a huge difference in the local community where I live and also my family has been touched by Alzheimer’s in the past. I wanted to work with an organization that strives to make not only a difference in the lives of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s but also in the lives of the caregivers of the patients. I really like the moto that is used for the walk “everyone has a reason to walk” and that to me is true. Everyone knows of someone that is affected in some way by Alzheimer’s disease. Even if you have not been personally affected by Alzheimer’s you know someone who has or someone who is a caregiver to a patient with Alzheimer’s.

My goal with this project was to show how far people are willing to travel, from where they live, to participate in the 2014 Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s. After talking with the director of the Alzheimer’s office I found out that they were also interested in finding out some other demographics about their walkers so I also have included within the project factors to look at such as the male to female ratio of the walk participants as well as the ages of the walk participant’s. To complete this project I worked as a volunteer for the walk and administered a survey as the walkers signed in that collected demographics such as the home zip code, age of the walker and if the walker was male or female. The three mile walk took place on September 27th and the starting point for the 2014 Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s was the parking lot of the historic Dalton Depot. The streets of downtown Dalton were blocked for the walk and the walk was escorted by the local Dalton city police department through the streets in town. My work as a volunteer started hours before the walk actually started. I arrived early to work with the other volunteers to help set up various tables and help with other set up duties before the walkers started to arrive. When the walkers started arriving I started collecting my data for my project through the use of the survey at the sign in table. I am glad that I decided to go with using a survey to collect data instead of walking around with a clip board like I had thought about doing because I soon realized that the walk becomes very hectic and chaotic once the walkers start arriving. If I had not used a survey to collect the data from each walker as they signed in then I feel confident that I would have missed a lot of the walkers and would not have been able to collect accurate and complete data. After the registration and sign in was complete and the demographic data had been collected I continued to work as a volunteer at the silent auction table. Working the silent auction table was a new experience for me. Trying to help keep track of the walker’s bids was challenging but fun at the same time. The silent auction was a very successful part of the walk this year. The Silent auction alone brought in over $800 for the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk was more like a block party than a walk to raise money and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. There was live entertainment, a bake sale, silent auction and a BBQ lunch was sold by the Dalton Depot restaurant with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association. There was also a special appearance by the 2009 Miss Tennessee, Stefanie Wittler. Different vendors were also on hand to help raise awareness of the resources available to the caregivers of the patients with Alzheimer’s. There was one accident at the walk and after talking with the director of the walk I found out that the accident was the first one to happen at a walk for as long as she had been the director. After the walk I also helped with the clean-up of the area and the breakdown of the tables and decorations. I also helped to deliver the walk materials back to the local office in Dalton and continued to work in the office helping the staff count and sort the money that was collected and verifying donations that were received. In all on the day of the walk I volunteered 8 hours and then spent an additional 5 hours going through the survey’s and analyzing the data collected and creating a map showing the cities that people traveled from to participate in the Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s and then creating a report to give to the Alzheimer’s office.

I discovered some interesting facts and observations from the data that I collected and the Alzheimer’s office was interested as well. The total number of the walkers at the 2014 Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s was 227 and out of that number 32 were volunteers that devoted their day to help make the walk a success. The walk was dominated by females as the total number of walkers that were male numbered 52 whereas the total numbers of females were 175. So the male to female ratio of the walkers was 1:3 or three female walkers for every one male walker registered in the walk. I found this fact interesting that the majority of the walkers were female and that more males were not interested in participating in the walk. Out of the 227 walk participants 179 were adults and 48 were children. The average age of the walkers was 38 years old with the oldest walker being 83 years old and the youngest walker being 2 years old. I enjoyed seeing the youngest and smallest walker that even though was unregistered brought a lot of joy and excitement to the walk. She was 2 months old and came with her mom in her very own tiny walk tee shirt. I found out from the surveys that the person that traveled the farthest to participate in the walk came from Cumming, Georgia which is 86.44 miles from Dalton, Georgia. Also, the average miles that people traveled from their home zip code to participate in the walk was 39 miles. At the end of this report I have included three tables from the survey data that show walk participants zip codes and mileage traveled, the number of male and female walkers and the ages of the walk participants. I have also included the map that shows the cities that people traveled from to participate in the walk.

I enjoyed this volunteer experience and I feel that it taught me a lot about the demographics and hard work of hosting fund raising walks. I already knew what services the Alzheimer’s Association provided but I did not realize how much work went into each fundraiser that they do. You would think that when you hear of a fund raising walk that it would not take a lot of work to coordinate and host the walk to be able collect the donations. I was wrong! To hold one of these walks there is an amazing effort put forth not only by the staff of the Alzheimer’s Association but also by the board of trustees and the numerous volunteers that devote their day and sacrifice their time to help make this walk a success. When you think of volunteers for an event you think of someone who is just giving of their time and not personally connected to the event. However, the majority of the volunteers that I encountered at the 2014 Dalton Walk to End Alzheimer’s devote not only their time but also have a personal connection to the Alzheimer’s Association as well. They truly believe in the Alzheimer’s Association and want to be a part of making a difference in the lives of the patients with Alzheimer’s as well as helping the caregivers of the patients to cope with the day to day struggles that they encounter as the Alzheimer’s disease progresses within their loved ones. This service learning project was a wonderful and enjoyable experience for me and it helped to open my eyes and helped me to realize how much work, dedication, sacrifice and love goes into coordinating, participating and hosting a fund raising walk that is truly successful in more ways that just monetary.

Acworth, Georgia (58.25miles)

7

Adairsville, Georgia (32.21 miles)

3

Ball Ground, Georgia (55.24 miles)

4

Calhoun, Georgia (21.47 miles)

11

Canton, Georgia (63.82 miles)

8

Chatsworth, Georgia (12.72 miles)

17

Chattanooga, Tennessee (32.55 miles)

4

Chickamauga, Georgia (27.56 miles)

6

Cohutta, Georgia (15.10 miles)

7

Collegedale, Tennessee (36.08 miles)

1

Cumming, Georgia (86.44 miles)

1

Dalton, Georgia (0 miles)

94

Ellijay, Georgia (36.88 miles)

4

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia (24.49 miles)

14

Jasper, Georgia (48.86 miles)

8

LaFayette, Georgia (27.06 miles)

2

Marietta, Georgia (71.88 miles)

1

Mineral Bluff, Georgia (59.08 miles)

2

Oolewah, Tennessee (26.96 miles)

1

Ringgold, Georgia (15.66 miles)

10

Rock Springs, Georgia (20.99 miles)

2

Rome, Georgia (48.05 miles)

4

Rossville, Georgia (26.89 miles)

5

Sugar Valley, Georgia (20.68 miles)

1

Summerville, Georgia (39.94 miles)

2

Talking Rock, Georgia (42.96 miles)

5

Woodstock, Georgia (71.73 miles)

3

Table 1: Walk participants zip codes and distances in parenthesis from each city to Dalton, Georgia

Female

175

Male

52

Table 2: Gender of walk participants

0-10 years of age

19

11-20 years of age

29

21-30 years of age

49

31-40 years of age

38

41-50 years of age

43

51-60 years of age

25

61-70 years of age

21

71-80 years of age

2

81-90 years of age

1

Table 3: Age of walk participants

C:UsersCarrie

1


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